Warm tones are categorized as the hues on the color wheel packed with yellow and red undertones. Think everything from sunny yellows to deep shades of rust, golden beiges, and everything in between. Contrary to cool tones, the versatile hues on the warm spectrum evoke an inviting vibe that can skew either happy and energetic or rich and cozy. With an array of shades that prove to be both timeless and trendy, settling on a single hue can feel next to impossible. To make warming up to the right shade easier, we tapped interior designers for the warm-toned paint ideas to implement on your next room redesign. Their picks ahead—you're getting warmer.
- Color Family: Yellows, oranges, reds, browns, beiges
- Complementary Color: Blues, greens, purples
- Pairs Well With: Black, white, metallics, neutrals
- Mood: Powerful, calming, inviting, happy, comforting
- Where to Use: Living areas, bedrooms, accent walls
Trying to warm things up? Here are 12 warm paint colors that interior designers want you to cozy up to.
Light French Grey by Sherwin Williams
"I think of grey as a neutral, like cream or white," Kate Lester of Kate Lester Interiors explains. "So for me, the perfect grey is all about warmth. I love Light French Grey by Sherwin Williams because it's got a depth and warmth that I can't really find in a lot of other grays and doesn't lean too lavender or baby blue. There's nothing worse than the sun going down and your wall turning purple, so make sure to test a few samples and look at them during the day and at night. Trust me on this one."
Tissue Pink by Benjamin Moore
"Hailed as 'the most flattering paint color ever,' Tissue Pink by Benjamin Moore is the versatile backdrop for both modern and traditional spaces," Campbell Minister of Decorated Interiors says. "This gorgeous color reads a bit coral, which means it does not need to be reserved for only, say, a little girl's bedroom."
Pashmina by Benjamin Moore
"Pashmina by Benjamin Moore is dramatic and sexy," Minister gushes. "I have used it on walls in an open kitchen as a complement to a tile backsplash and a small men's office space. The color changes in the light but predominantly reads brown and pairs well with creamy beiges and tans."
He recommends using it in a small enclosed space "to envelop your guests from the moment they walk in the door."
Sea Salt by Benjamin Moore
"This neutral hue has a warm undertone and goes with almost any color scheme out there," Minister says of Sea Salt by Benjamin Moore. "Blacks, warm taupes, and creamy neutrals pop against this gorgeous color. It has a tad of brown mixed in, but the lighting in the room can change the way it reads in each space."
Canyon Dusk by Behr
"If not used carefully, the color can give off an aged aesthetic, often making a space feel too dark," she explains, "So, it is important to use it in subtle ways. Additionally, blending brown-toned accents with more modern materials like marble can create beautiful juxtapositions of color and texture."
Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore
"I love Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter for a warm taupe," says Cara Fox, owner and lead designer at The Fox Group. "This perfect neutral looks great when applied to trim and paired with white walls. Use it on baseboards, cased openings, crown molding, and window trim for a timeless, Scandinavian look."
Faded Gray by Dunn Edwards
"We love to use Faded Gray by Dunn Edwards when we are looking for a warm neutral color," Mary Maydan, founder and principal of Maydan Architects, says. "This color provides a great background for almost everything and helps us to create a timeless space. It's calm, soothing, and adds warmth and character. We can easily add a trendy accent color next to it for drama and boldness, or we can keep the room quiet and luxurious by using it on its own."
7017 Dorian Gray by Sherwin Williams
"Sherwin Williams' 7017 Dorian Gray is a true warm gray," Stephanie Lindsey at Etch Design Group explains. "Used as an overall exterior color and interior color, it's versatile for any setting."
She notes that her firm has used this numerous times when a homeowner is looking for a warmer neutral color as it creates the perfect backdrop for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms alike.
Sharkskin by Benjamin Moore
Bob Bakes, cofounder and head of design at Bakes & Kropp tells us, "I love Sharkskin by Benjamin Moore—there is a beautiful subtlety to this gray color. It's not too bright or too dark and can easily blend into the background or serve as a highlight color."
Finally, he adds this warm gray tone "contrasts particularly well with the walnut stains we've been seeing over the last few years."